Chocolate Hot Cross Buns


If you are looking to give a chocolate twist to your Easter breakfast/dessert, you can’t miss these Chocolate Hot Cross Buns….with a melting middle!


  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 50 g golden caster sugar
  • 1 heaped teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 whole nutmeg , for grating
  • 200 ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 400 g strong white bread flour , plus 2 tablespoons and extra for dusting
  • 50 g quality cocoa powder
  • 1 x 7 g sachet of dried yeast
  • 150 g quality dark chocolate , (70%)
  • 100 g raisins , or mixed dried fruit
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 tbsp runny honey



  1. Place the butter, sugar, mixed spice, a good grating of nutmeg and a pinch of sea salt in a pan over a low heat and warm gently until melted, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove from the heat, pour in the milk, then crack in the egg and whisk well.
  3. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a large bowl and tip in the yeast. Make a well in the middle, then gradually pour in the milk mixture, stirring and bringing in the flour from the outside to form a rough dough.
  4. Knead on a flour-dusted surface for around 5 minutes, or until smooth and springy. Transfer to a flour-dusted bowl, cover with a clean damp tea towel and prove in a warm place for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  5. Chop half the chocolate into 12 equal-sized pieces and put aside, then finely chop the remaining chocolate into tiny chips. Chop any large dried fruits into smaller pieces.
  6. When the dough is ready, transfer to a clean surface and use your fist to knock out the air. Roughly stretch and flatten out the dough, sprinkle over the chocolate chips and dried fruit, then knead for a few minutes until smooth again, pushing any chocolate or fruit that escapes back into the dough.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and grease and line a 25cm x 35cm baking tray.
  8. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Flatten one piece slightly, push a piece of chocolate into the centre, snapping it to fit, if needed, then fold the dough back over the chocolate to trap it inside. Shape the dough into a neat ball and place on the prepared tray. Repeat with the remaining dough, leaving a small gap between each bun.
  9. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for around 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  10. In a small bowl, mix together the 6 tablespoons of flour, vanilla essence and 4 – 5 tablespoons of water until smooth. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle (or cut a hole in the corner of a snaplock bag) and pipe buns with mixture.
  11. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden, then transfer to a cooling rack. Warm the honey a little to loosen, then gently brush over the buns to glaze.
  12. Slice open while warm to enjoy the melting middle – delicious served with a little butter and a pinch of sea salt, if you like.
© Image and recipe by Jamie Oliver

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